On a lighter note....Payton not to return to Milwaukee

On a lighter note....Payton not to return to Milwaukee

Postby murcielago62 on Mon Jul 07, 2003 6:34 am

The agent for Gary Payton said Sunday that the All-Star guard has narrowed his list of prospective employers for next season to three teams, headlined by the Los Angeles Lakers.


Payton


It's a list that does not include the Milwaukee Bucks, according to agent Aaron Goodwin, even though the Bucks can outbid anyone for the 34-year-old free agent.

Amid ongoing talks with Lakers officials, who are limited to offering Payton a starting salary of just under $5 million, Goodwin told ESPN.com that the recently dethroned champions are "absolutely" Payton's preference. The only other teams Payton will consider, according to Goodwin, are Portland and Miami.

The Lakers also are said to be the first choice of Utah forward Karl Malone, who is reportedly waiting to see if L.A. lands Payton before agreeing to sign for a mere $1.5 million next season. That's the most the over-the-cap Lakers can offer Malone if they use their $4.9 million salary-cap exception on Payton.

"Gary is looking at teams he can excel with," said Goodwin, who expects a firm decision from Payton within the next day or two.

Asked specifically about Milwaukee, Goodwin said: "He won't be back, no."

No team can sign a free agent until July 16, but committing to join the Lakers would enable Payton -- in Goodwin's words -- "to be the first guy to put his money where his mouth is and take less to play for a championship."

In Payton's case, signing with the Lakers would represent a pay cut of more than $7 million from his $12.6 million salary earned last season with Seattle and Milwaukee.

Malone would then be looking at a pay cut of nearly $18 million if he elects to leave the Jazz for Hollywood -- from $19.3 million last season to the $1.5 million figure.

Malone's willingness to accept such a drastic reduction, however, would be more understandable if Utah is only offering him a starting salary of $5-$6 million to stay, as some insiders suggest. It's unlikely Malone would be willing to return to the Jazz for less than the $8 million earned by John Stockton in his final season.

Payton turns 35 on July 23; Malone turns 40 the following day. Although the idea that both could fit into the Lakers' limited budget sounds like a long shot, the upside to playing in L.A. at drastically reduced rates is that both would have a shot at the championship ring neither has won … along with the shared opportunity to help restore the Lakers to glory.

Two teams on Payton's list -- the Lakers and Miam't be back, no."[/b]

No team can sign a free agent until July 16, but committing to join the Lakers would enable Payton -- in Goodwin's words -- "to be the first guy to put his money where his mouth is and take less to play for a championship."

In Payton's case, signing with the Lakers would represent a pay cut of more than $7 million from his $12.6 million salary earned last season with Seattle and Milwaukee.

Malone would then be looking at a pay cut of nearly $18 million if he elects to leave the Jazz for Hollywood -- from $19.3 million last season to the $1.5 million figure.

Malone's willingness to accept such a drastic reduction, however, would be more understandable if Utah is only offering him a starting salary of $5-$6 million to stay, as some insiders suggest. It's unlikely Malone would be willing to return to the Jazz for less than the $8 million earned by John Stockton in his final season.

Payton turns 35 on July 23; Malone turns 40 the following day. Although the idea that both could fit into the Lakers' limited budget sounds like a long shot, the upside to playing in L.A. at drastically reduced rates is that both would have a shot at the championship ring neither has won … along with the shared opportunity to help restore the Lakers to glory.

Two teams on Payton's list -- the Lakers and Miami -- put the Bucks at risk for losing Payton without compensation, after Milwaukee acquired the nine-time All-Star at mid-season in a stunning trade for franchise pillar Ray Allen.

A costly mistake by Miami guard Anthony Carter early last week has apparently given Miami an estimated $11 million in salary-cap room to pursue free agents, instead of an expected $7 million. Carter and his representatives failed to notify the Heat by June 30 that he would invoke the final year left on his contract, at a salary of $4.1 million.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Heat coach Pat Riley would pursue a veteran like Payton or focus on the best young prospects on the open market, such as Golden State point guard Gilbert Arenas or Los Angeles Clippers center Michael Olowokandi. It's believed that the Heat is trying to infuse their roster with youth and athleticism. That's why center Alonzo Mourning, in another comeback attempt from his longstanding kidney problesm, is expected is sign with Dallas or another title contender.

The Bucks would undoubtedly prefer to strike a sign-and-trade arrangement with Payton rather than lose him for nothing, but the Lakers have no discernible assets to offer in a trade outside stars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.

Portland, by contrast, has plenty of assets to interest Milwaukee or any team -- Rasheed Wallace, Bonzi Wells i -- put the Bucks at risk for losing Payton without compensation, after Milwaukee acquired the nine-time All-Star at mid-season in a stunning trade for franchise pillar Ray Allen.

A costly mistake by Miami guard Anthony Carter early last week has apparently given Miami an estimated $11 million in salary-cap room to pursue free agents, instead of an expected $7 million. Carter and his representatives failed to notify the Heat by June 30 that he would invoke the final year left on his contract, at a salary of $4.1 million.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Heat coach Pat Riley would pursue a veteran like Payton or focus on the best young prospects on the open market, such as Golden State point guard Gilbert Arenas or Los Angeles Clippers center Michael Olowokandi. It's believed that the Heat is trying to infuse their roster with youth and athleticism. That's why center Alonzo Mourning, in another comeback attempt from his longstanding kidney problesm, is expected is sign with Dallas or another title contender.

The Bucks would undoubtedly prefer to strike a sign-and-trade arrangement with Payton rather than lose him for nothing, but the Lakers have no discernible assets to offer in a trade outside stars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.

Portland, by contrast, has plenty of assets to interest Milwaukee or any team -- Rasheed Wallace, Bonzi Wells and Zach Randolph, to name three -- but Payton would have to reach an agreement to sign with the Trail Blazers and work with the Bucks to construct a trade that satisfies both parties.

So pretty much, we're his only real option now...
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Postby murcielago62 on Mon Jul 07, 2003 11:14 am

no replies? :man6:
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Postby Kobe_One_Kenobi_8 on Mon Jul 07, 2003 12:19 pm

DON'T WORRY MURCIEL, HERE IS ONE!!

I'm glad the Gary and his agent has narrowed the choices down to three, which is the Lakers, Miami, and Portland.

Since Gary wants to win a title, that takes out Miami quickly.

So now it comes between the Lakers and Portland.

Again Gary knows that he has a better chance to win the title in Los Angeles, than in Portland.

Therefore, I can't wait to see Gary in the Laker uniform.
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Postby Lakers Dynasty 2000 on Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:33 pm

Good... Just a step closer...
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